Quote of the Day

"He was a gallant soldier and a Christian gentleman."

U.S. Grant: Remark in 1864, when , during the Wilderness Campaign, he spent the night in the house where Jackson died.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Saturday

This past week has been extraordinarily busy, so today we are just staying home.  I have been doing some light work outside, getting ready for the rain that we are supposed to get for the next four days. Primarily, I just covered the truck and the Jeep with tarps, since everything else was already done in preparation for the storm that passed us by.

Midway has some ammo on sale, marked down significantly.  They are offering 640 rounds of surplus 7.62X51 NATO , in the original can, for $376.40.



They also have steel cased, new production 8mm Mauser marked down, 280 rounds in boxes, in the can, for $149.44


I am not familiar with the manufacturer, and I'm sure this is not reloadable , but at $149.44 for 280 rounds, it's not all that bad.

Of course, this is not being offered with free shipping, so by the time you add  that on the attractiveness of the offer may have faded significantly.  I know I could probably find the same kind of ammo cheaper in bulk somewhere else, but I like just ordering it , getting it in the can, and setting it on the shelf.


Friends, don't forget Mothers Day is 8 May.  You need something really special for the wife, something useful that she will truly treasure! If the  vacuum cleaner you got for her last year bombed, here's a good idea!

Or if your supply of coin is a little light at the moment, there are some sweet deals on AR-15's to be had. For a discussion there of, see  Why Wouldn't I?  over at Commander Zero's.




Things in the outside world appear to be grim.  I have little enthusiasm for any of the presidential candidates. None of them are men of gravitas.  I don't think I'd buy a used car from a one of them (I am certainly including Shrillery in this.)  I'm going to vote for Trump, if the Machiavellian RNC doesn't find some underhanded means of doing away with him, but with little hope or joy.



Yes, just staying up here on the mountain top is a good plan for today.






Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Bad weather on the way.

We are supposed to have some powerful storms rolling through here for the next few days. Right now you couldn't ask for a more perfect day, but that can change quickly in the mountains.

I am in the process of inventorying my guns.  Tedious, but I do it every few years just to make sure everything is where it's supposed to be.

Even worse, once I've finished that I need to inventory the ammunition. Since I "combat load" the ammo by distributing it among three buildings, that's even more of a chore.

My gun safes are in the main house, so the bulk of the guns are there as well. But the ammo, that's a different story. It's all over the place. Of course, the theory is that if I lose one building to fire, I won't lose all of the ammo.  I spread my essential equipment and supplies out over the three buildings that have climate control. That's a must, because we get sub zero here in winter, and the humidity in summer is around 87% on average. Anything left in the ambient air would degrade rapidly.



All of my reloading equipment and supplies are out in the shop.  Smokeless powder doesn't explode, but I need everything right where I can lay hands on it when I want to reload. So if the shop ever goes, be it to fire or tornado, I'm out of business there.  So far I've been ok , so perhaps my luck will hold.


When I worked for the oil and gas company, I had a lot of benefits. One of them was that my boss had an FFL and a retailers license from the state. He let me use it to buy wholesale from the big dealers. So I bought a lot of ammo by the crate. Back then, ammo was cheap anyway and it was practically give away compared to today.  So I have many, many cases of ammo I have never opened. Also, I bought new production commercial by the case to add to my surplus ammo.  This whole place is supposed to be handed over to my kids once the wife and I can't stay up here anymore due to age or health. I don't know how that is going to work out since they moved to the city and work for a company they like. Only time will tell.  If they decide to sell the property and the contents of the buildings, there will be some hellish good deals for anyone who has a truck and doesn't mind driving up here!


Aside from my "regular" magazines, there are some special editions of others that I buy. Once a year, certain magazines put out survival editions.  Popular Mechanics has an annual "survival guide" edition that's good. This is the latest from Field and Stream.  I like their survival kits because they only evaluate equipment that "Joe Everyman" could afford. If you look at Off Grid or American Survival Guide, they only look at the very best.  But as the Russians say, "the best is the enemy of good enough."  I can afford everything in Field and Stream's write ups. I can rarely afford any of the items featured in the "$10.00 a copy" magazines.


Well, time to get ready to go. We're going into the library today. I was going to the dump, but I don't feel energetic enough for that today. And I have all the time in the world.....



Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Plan of the Day

Our new retired lives together are settling into a sort of routine.

We get up a dawn.  I have my coffee and watch the early news and the weather.  We got rid of the satellite television awhile back, but I missed watching the news and M missed the Quacker Factory and the Ladies clothing shows. So we got it back, but in a reduced mode. We had a recorder and three receivers before. Now we just have a receiver in the living room. Much less expensive and with just the two of us living here, much more logical.



Then I go for a walk with the dogs. Not far, just to get the day started.

Sometime before noon, we go into town.  We go to the Thrift shops to plunder, or to the grocery stores, or sometimes we just go to the park in town and walk by the river.



 Usually we have lunch in town, and we have been trying some new places we haven't been to before.




We come home in the early afternoon. She works on her garden and I work on some project or other around the house.   Then we rest til about six, and go to the lake to walk on the really nice hiking path the state just built there. It's quiet by then, and it's a nice end to the day.




We go home, have supper, and I do the final chores like feeding the animals and getting everything secure for the night. She watches television for awhile, and I read or listen to the radio.

That's pretty much it, these days.  Not bad. Not very exciting, though.




Sunday, April 24, 2016

Gun Manuals

I got this link from a friend. It's very useful if you need a manual for a particular weapon.

On Line gun manuals


Sunday morning ruminations.

I have been going around to all my favorite surplus dealer's web pages, looking for anything I might want to pick up.  There was a time in the 1980's when you could find something you wanted at every dealers (by perusing the advertisements in their flyers) and I never had enough disposable income to get everything I wanted to buy.

No more.  Samco Global Arms just went broke.  Navy Arms no longer carries surplus, seems like Italian produced old West guns for the Cowboy Shooting folks is their main interest now.  Southern Ohio Guns has nothing to offer. AIM has some Mosin Nagant Model 1891/30 rifles available at horrific prices. Century International just hawks their own AK-47 rifles, their web page is so boring I almost never go there anymore.  Empire Arms gets in some good merchandise, if you are prepared to give up your first born child in payment for it.

Classic Firearms just got in the "last" shipment of Finnish Mosin Nagants. I own three and I'm happy with that. I bought mine twenty years ago for about $60.00 each (granted, money bought a lot more back then.) If you have been looking for a Finn you can check out what Classic Arms has left at this link.

Classic Arms








I continue to be bemused by the media shrieking about the Russians.  They aren't doing anything with these overflights of U.S. naval vessels they weren't doing back in the early 80's when I was on the Sixth Fleet NATO staff (COMSTRIKFORSOUTH).  Bears and Bisons used to overfly the carrier battle group all the time.  They were usually escorted in by our fighters, and it was all a carefully orchestrated minuet where everybody was on track with what was going on. Same thing with the Russian Bears flying up around Alaska. No big whoop.  But now the news agencies wring their hands and talk about "provocations."


The only thing I can think of about this constant brouhaha over the Russians, is that the current administration is trying to deflect people's attention away from how bad things are getting in this country. It's an old trick that has been around at least since classical Greek times and probably a lot longer.  I doubt it will work though, since almost no one watches the news anymore. The Russians are doing a pretty good job on the Islamic terrorist organizations, while we sit back and let them carry the load. While they are fighting radical Islam, we are satisfied with desultory bombing  and criticizing the Russians for doing what we lack the moral courage to do.  Strange times.  I guess the Old Guard will continue beating the drums against the Russians until the Iranians give some splinter group a nuclear weapon and they set it off in D.C.   It will be a little late then to recognize who our real enemies are, but history has it's own momentum.

I have been trying to stay detached from the machinations of the Republican National Committee. I have watched their representatives on the news, telling us how having toadies and stooges appointed by the cabal at Party Headquarters pick the Republican nominee rather than heeding the popular vote is "good."  Remember 1984 and "new speak?"  Orwell knew what was coming.


 The whole thing has confirmed my earlier decision, made more than a year ago, to scrap my membership in the Party.  I will call myself a Libertarian from now on, and vote for whomever I think will do best. I've always voted for the party candidates in the past, be it local or state or national elections, but no more.

I feel detached from all of it.  Somewhere along the way, I've lost my passion for politics.  I think Drudge is right, there's really no difference between the two parties. They wheel and deal, and they care about themselves and their class.

As for the "Great Unwashed", which means the rest of us. It's a case of Mind over Matter.  They don't mind and we don't matter.







I am going to shoot some today. Just pistols.  I'm not ready yet for the recoil of my bolt guns. I could shoot a .223, but I think I had better hold off on rifles for awhile.  I can manage the 9mm but I don't think trying to blast away with a .45 or .44 would be really smart.  I am not into pain.


My brothers are house boating on Lake Shasta this week.  I didn't make the trip out, it was in the  too hard category.  I wish I could have.  We are all getting on and it would have been nice to see them. Maybe next year.

And that's about it from the top of the mountain this Sunday morning.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Some magazines that came out while the blog was down. Since early March I've had a lot of time for reading.














Rain


We have been having spectacular weather.  Low humidity,  and temperatures in the low 70's.  With the full moon the last few nights, it's been great sitting out on the porch.  You can hear the stream running just down slope, and the night birds, and that's it. Otherwise, it's dead quiet.

I've been working on the blog, trying to restore some of the things I either deleted or disabled. When I shut the blog down I deleted my blog list, to protect the people on it should unforeseen eventualities arise in the future. Now I am laboriously putting it back together.  Blogger is not cooperating, giving me trouble with listing some of the non Google blogs but I will get it all put back together soon.

My wife and I are doing a through spring cleaning this year. Since she isn't teaching anymore, I have hauled two truckloads of old text books, teachers files, etc to the dump. Freed up a lot of space. So far, we have finished the pantry, her bedroom, and my bedroom. Still lots of spaces to go, but we are getting there. We have to be really, really careful because the ferrets delight in sneaking into trash bags and it would be easy to haul them off to the dump unannounced. The three "inside" cats are having a good time tearing the plastic trash bags with their claws, so that when I lift the bag it splits and all the junk falls out.  We are dealing with this by putting small amounts in the bags. Easier on the  two of us when it comes to lifting the bags, anyway.

I think I mentioned my son and daughter took a week off and came down to help out here at the place when I was not doing so well.  We sent them back loaded down with cheese, ham, and some canned things. My daughter took some of my books. Mostly about "bugging out" so I told her to just keep them. I'm not displacing come the day but she and my son will have to.  On the other hand, we had a disagreement about her taking some of my magazine collection. I keep those religiously , ordered and indexed. She said it was pointless to have them and not use them. I said I wasn't sure she would take care of them. She pointed out she had taken some of my rare books on the civil war up there, and got them back in good shape. In the end she got her way, as she always does. I have never been able to say no to my daughter and make it stick.





Not surprising, I suppose.  I always wind up doing what her mother wants, The women in Southern families have always been the power behind the throne.








Saturday, April 16, 2016

"The fire got out of control"


As I started typing this post,  two of the scanners came on.  Both had "tone" signals. The way it works, different components of the local first responder and law units have a "tone." So when something happens that involves large numbers of these people, the message over the radio is preceded by a sequence of tones. If your tone plays, the message is for you.

I hear it a lot but there were a lot of tones in this string. That told me something bad was happening. When the message came over, it was the one I dread the most.  Some old guy was out burning a pile of scrap wood, and the wind, which is strong today, carried sparks into the woods and now the woods are burning. I know this is a bad one because I heard the forest service tone, which means the local fire guys need help.

On the wall is a large topo map of the surrounding area. I found the place where the fire is , and it is on the other side of the county from me. I am safe, then.  Who would be burning today when it is high wind, low humidity, and outdoor fires are prohibited?  I live in fear of forest fires. My home is way out in the woods, with only a vehicle trail to get in and out of. That trail is so overgrown with trees that in summer it's like driving through a green tunnel.  A fire could easily cut me off up here,and that would be the end of me. Around the buildings, 180 degrees is cleared for the meadow, but the other 180 degrees, the woods come right up to the house. And as most of you know, my buildings are all cedar log, with cedar shake roofs.  Twice in the last 30 years, fires have come close to burning me out, but the forest service saved the day both times. Even so, I keep a brief case full of important papers, and a carrying cage for the ferrets, ready to go in case I have to bail out.

The radio is really popping.  Bad radio discipline, the fire crews are "stepping on" each other. I'm keeping half an ear on all this as I write.  I know it can't reach me here. Not this time, anyway,


We are planting blue berries today.  My wife says the bushes are two years old, and that they will grow and provide us with blue berries if the chickens don't eat them.  I can't do any of the digging yet, but my part of the job is to string chicken wire around the bushes so the chickens can't destroy them. With my wife home now, gardening is going to be a priority. Gardening to her is like guns to me.



In early April my kids came home for a week. It was an unexpected visit, they came to help out while I was "in dry dock" and not able to do much around the place.  With their help,   M (my wife) got the outside of the place all spruced up and my son did a lot of repair work I wasn't able to get to.  I like to sit out here in the sun.

The fire saga is really getting going now so I am finishing up here and following that.  I am trying to come by everyone's blogs so be patient with me about that.



Wednesday, April 13, 2016

"Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends! Come inside, come inside!"

I actually saw ELP in concert in the early 1970's.  My reserve unit used to make money by cleaning the arena after concerts.  It went to pay for parties , cook outs, etc the unit put on.  One of the added benefits was getting to see the concerts for free.

I've been off the air for a little while.  My wife was having medical issues and retired from teaching early.  So, we had to deal with the doctors, and at the same time we were addressing the problem of where to live now that both of us were retired.  That took some work, but we decided to keep this place in the mountains, with the proviso that she can spend some time up with the kids in the city they live in.  They are planning a move to Florida, to the Sarasota area, in a year or so. Their company has agreed to transfer them down there and that suits everybody.

In the interim, I managed to have an accident and did a thorough job of injuring myself.  I am not entirely over that but as the lunatics at the asylum in "The Pink Panther" said, "every day, in every way, I am getting better and better."

Then there have been the normal distractions of life, taking care of all the things that come around every day, and helping the kids.  It all added up to needing a break in the worse way.

I don't think I will deal much with politics or other things I can't control henceforth. A lower profile wouldn't hurt me, and after all this was supposed to be about living up here in the mountains.

I have genuinely missed visiting other's blogs and reading their comments here. It will take me awhile to catch up with everybody.  But it's good to be back among the living.

Thanks, Kymber, for awakening me from my stupor.